New York’s unemployment rate hit its highest since 1992 last month, rising to 8.7%, according to state Labor Department figures.

Some 854,200 New Yorkers were unemployed last month, the highest number since records keeping began in 1976. The unemployment rate in New York City climbed even higher, to 9.5%, its highest since 1997, while the rate outside the city hit 8.2%, its highest since 1983. Nationally, unemployment hit 9.5%.

Private sector employment has dropped for 10 consecutive months since peaking in August 2008, shedding 235,900 jobs.

Over the past year, education and health services added 31,900 jobs while employment declined in all other major sectors. Wholesale and retail trade was hammered hardest, losing 48,800 jobs, while the financial sector lost 40,000 jobs, including 24,400 in the securities industry.

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